|Vol. 15||MAY, 1912.||No. 2|
|Copyright, 1912, by H. W. PERCIVAL.|
(Continued from page 8)
NEARLY everybody has a notion of what is called living, and the notion is based on the things and states which he desires most or the ideals to which he aspires. He considers that the realization of his objects in life will be living and that the things for which others contend are of little value when compared with the goal of his intent. Each seems assured that he knows what living really is, and for this strives with body and mind.
Wearied of the grind of the city, one who idealizes the simlpe life is certain that living is to be found in the quiet of the country, amidst pastoral scenes and where he may enjoy the cool of the woods and the sunshine on the fields, and he pities those about him for not knowing this.
Impatient with his hard and long work and the monotony of the country, and feeling he is merely wearing out an existence on the farm, the ambitious youth is confident that he can in the city only know what living is, in the heart of business and among the rush of the multitudes.
With the thought of a home, the man of industry works that he may rear his family and enjoy the ease and comfort he will have earned.
Why should I wait to enjoy life, thinks the pleasure hunter. Do not put off for tomorrow what you can enjoy today. Sports, games, gambling, dancing, delicious morsels, clinking glasses, mixing magnetism with the other sex, nights of revelry, this is living for him.
With his wants not satisfied, but fearing the attraction in human life, the ascetic considers the world as a place to be shunned; a place where serpents lurk and wolves are ready to devour; where the mind is beguiled by temptations and deceit, and the flesh is in the snares of sense; where passion is rampant and disease is ever present. He goes to a secluded spot that he might there discover to himself the mystery of real living.
Not contented with their lot in life, the uninformed poor speak grudgingly of wealth and with envy or admiration point to the doings of the social set and say, that these can enjoy life; that they really live.
What is called society, is composed quite frequently of the bubbles on the crest of the waves of civilization, which are tossed up by agitations and struggles of the minds in the sea of human life. Those in society see in time that admission is by birth or money, seldom by merit; that the veneer of fashion and the mechanics of manners check the growth of mind and warp the character; that society is ruled by strict forms and uncertain morals; that there is hunger for place or favor, and work with flattery and deceit to secure it and hold it; that there are strivings and struggles and intrigues for hollow triumphs accompanied by vain regrets for prestige lost; that sharp tongues strike from jeweled throats and leave poison in their honeyed words; that where pleasure leads people follow, and when it palls on jaded nerves they whip their fancies to furnish new and often base excitement for their restless minds. Instead of being representatives of the culture and true nobility of human life, society, as it is, is seen by those who have outlived its glamour, to be largely like the wash and drift, thrown up on the sand by the waves of fortune from the sea of human life. The members of society shimmer in the sunshine for a while; and then, out of touch with all the sources of their lives and unable to keep a firm footing, they are swept away by the waves of fortune or disappear as nonentities, like the froth that is blown away. Little chance society gives its members to know of and contact the currents of their lives.
Forsake the way of the world, accept the faith, plead the sincere preacher and priest. Enter the church and believe, and you will find balm for your wounds, solace for your suffering, the way to heaven and its joys of immortal life, and a crown of glory as your reward.
To those cast down by doubts and weary of the battle with the world, this invitation is what their mother’s gentle lullaby was in infancy. Those who are worn out by the activities and pressure of life may find rest in the church for a while, and expect to have immortal life after death. They have to die to win. The church has not and cannot give what it claims to be the keeper of. Immortal life is not found after death if not obtained before. Immortal life must be lived into before death and while man is in a physical body.
However and whatever phases of life may be examined, each will be seen to be unsatisfactory. Most people are like round pegs in square holes they do not fit. Some one may enjoy his place in life for a time, but he tires of it as soon as or before he has learned what it should teach him; then he longs for something else. One who looks behind the glamour and examines any phase of life, discovers in it disappointment, dissatisfaction. It may take ages for a man to learn this if he cannot, or will not, see. Yet he must learn. Time will give him experience, and pain will sharpen his sight.
Man as he is in the world is an undeveloped man. He is not living. Living is the way by which man attains immortal life. Living is not the existence which at present men call living. Living is the state in which each part of a structure or organism or being is in touch with Life through its particular current of life, and where all parts work co-ordinately to perform their functions for the purpose of the life of that structure, organism or being, and where the organization as a whole contacts the flood tide of Life and its currents of life.
At present no part of the organization of man is in touch with its particular current of life. Hardly is youth attained before decay attacks the physical structure, and man allows death to take his mortal part. When man’s physical structure is built and the flower of youth is blown, the body soon withers and is consumed. While the fires of life are burning man believes that he is living, but he is not. He is dying. Only at rare intervals is it possible for the physical organism of man to contact its particular currents of life. But the strain is too great. Man unknowingly refuses to make the connection, and he either does not know or will not co-ordinate all parts of his organism and does not cause them to perform other functions than for the scant maintenance of the physical body, and so it is not possible for him to be borne up by the physical. He is pulled down by it.
Man thinks through his senses, and as a being of sense. He does not think of himself as a being apart from his senses, and so he does not contact the life and source of his being. Each part of the organization called man is at war with the other parts. He is confused as to his identity and remains in a world of confusion. In no sense is he in contact with the flood tide of Life and its currents of life. He is not living.
(To be continued)